WRKE got its start in 2004 when a club to establish a radio station on campus was formed. Equipment was obtained by the college and David Mulford, who would serve as the station’s Engineer for the next 15 years, set up the station in two rooms in the upper level of the Colket Center. The station went on air on March of 2004 but was not official until the following year. 

WRKE has spent the past 16 years building a fan base on campus and beyond. With a 3 mile broadcast radius, WRKE is able to cover most of the Roanoke College community. WRKE also streams live audio (the same stream as broadcast) over the internet at www.wrke.org which gives listeners ability to enjoy WRKE around the world. Thanks to its online presence, the station has logged listening from nearly 50 countries. 

When WRKE first “signed on”, both the on-air studio and production studio were located across from each other in a remote corner of Colket Center’s top floor. But over the summer of 2016 a new, larger, more accessible on-air studio was built on Colket’s main floor just a few feet from the Center’s front doors and across the hall from the Commons. The upgrade enhances WRKE’s ability to conduct interviews in roomier surroundings; produce live (and recorded) specials such as election night coverage and music performances; and increases the station’s visibility.

Beginning in early 2017, WRKE experienced unprecedented growth resulting in the station growing from 13 students, hosting 8 shows to 75 students, hosting 34 shows. WRKE also began it’s live and special events during this time. Events included Outlast, a competition similar to Big Brother, live radio dramas with the theater department, and live events from down in the Cavern. For their progress WRKE, under Program Director Elijah Wilhelm, won the Student Organization of the Year award for both the 2016-17 school year and the 2017-2018 school year. This is the only time the award has been won by the same organization in back to back years.



The WRKE antenna going up on top of the Colket Center in 2004

WRKE’s main and backup transmitters as well as audio processing equipment are located in Colket Center. The antenna is fitted on a 30-foot tower on the roof of Colket Center.

WRKE provides a creative outlet for students to express themselves while learning broadcasting skills. Broadcasting from the Colket Center on the Roanoke College campus, WRKE has a power output of 100 watts transmitting on 100.3 MHz, WRKE’s signal covers Salem and parts of the surrounding area in the Roanoke Valley.​ ​



WRKE History Through T-Shirts!